Orissa aren’t domestic heavyweights, but Delhi don’t want the first game’s casualness to hang over the field. “Be it be Orissa or anyone, every match is very important for us. Orissa know how to survive. A team which knows how to survive can also beat good team,” said Delhi chief coach Vijay Dahiya.
Delhi’s batting might not have the intimidating aura of the last game but it certainly has promise. Skipper Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order is in form while youngsters Mohit Sharma, Milind Kumar and Unmukt Chand have ample reason to make their presence felt in the absence of the big names. “Shikhar undoubtedly is in peak form and he has performed well for the last two seasons. But at the same time, we cannot blindly trust the big names in the team. These youngsters now will have to stand up for the team as they are the ones who have to take the responsibility,” said Dahiya.
Talking about his team’s bowling, Dahiya said that the Kotla pitch would help the pacers. He went on to hint that he might play five bowlers. Of the three pacers to expected to take field, Parwinder Awana and Sumit Narwal are certainties, in the absence of Ashish Nehra, while left-armers Pradeep Sangwan and Pawan Suyal will compete the third seamer slot. Two left-arm spinners, Vikas Mishra and Manan Sharma, will complete the bowling department.
“As I said all these youngsters have played and performed extremely well in the CK Nayudu Trophy, which is as good as playing Ranji Trophy. These boys also toured with us for the Moin-ud-Dowla Trophy. So saying that this is a good opportunity to test these youngsters would be incomplete as they are the Delhi team. The stars played the first match because of a long rest period but this team is what Delhi is and you will see all of them rotated in future games,” Dahiya said.
Orissa also wear a young look. Leaving aside experienced players like Biplab Samantray and Natraj Behera, the East Zone team has its share of promising U-25 players. Alok Mangaraj has impressed alongside Basant Mohanty with the new bal. “We have youngsters that are capable of performing well. When it comes to playing in North, the wickets do their bit in the morning session. So we have decided to go with four bowlers. However lively the track may be, we will play with seven batsmen,” said former India bowler and Orissa coach Debasis Mohanty.